A lot of classic animation characters have found a rebirth on the big screen recently, everything from Charlie Brown and friends in The Peanuts Movie to Scooby-Doo and the two Smurfs movies (with a third coming in 2017).
Warner Brothers regularly tries to find new life for their timeless Looney Tunes characters in ventures like the Tiny Toons cartoon and spinoff films like Space Jam – the latter of which is getting a sequel. The newest announcement from the world of the Looney Tunes comes from San Diego Comic Con this weekend.
Deadline is reporting Max Landis (Chronicle, American Ultra) announced that he is writing a Pepe Le Pew feature film. Let’s just hope that this one doesn’t hit the development hell that continues to plague the Marvin the Martian movie. The Looney Tunes characters have that timeless quality that allows them to be reincarnated every so often and it looks like everyone’s favorite lovesick skunk is about to be thrust into the collective again with a feature film, much like the recently announced Speedy Gonzales movie.
Landis was hard at work promoting the upcoming BBC America’s eight-episode Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency series during a panel at the San Diego Comic Con on Saturday and he let it drop that he will be writing Pepe his very own movie. No release schedule was suggested and it seems he was still in the midst of the writing process, so it could easily be quite a few years before the project sees daylight.
Pepe was created all the way back in 1945 by the legendary Chuck Jones, the Looney Tunes director that was also responsible for creating other classic characters like Marvin the Martian, Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner. Pepe is infamous for being the lovesick skunk that strolls through the streets of Paris in the springtime, hungry for love in all the wrong places. His most recognized shorts often involved him sexually harassing a black cat named Penelope that accidentally got white paint spilled on her back.
Mel Blanc historically voiced Pepe, with the duties falling to voice talents like Maurice LaMarche (The Real Ghostbusters, Pinky & The Brain) and Jeff Bergman (The Looney Tunes Show, Family Guy). There had been talk of a Pepe Le Pew movie back in 2009-2010, when Mike Meyers (Shrek, Austin Powers) was on board to voice the character, but nothing came of it. Meyers would later be tied to the Marvin the Martian film, as well. No word as to whether he will be interested in working on this new project.
It will be interesting to see if and how the character is modified for the modern world, where his often sexually aggressive attitude and ‘won’t accept no’ for an answer mentality of constantly chasing and harassing women that are clearly uninterested in him wouldn’t be considered acceptable for a children’s animated film. There are plenty of examples of Pepe dropping the chase and enjoying a romance with mutual feelings, as seen in the 1959 animated short “Really Scent,” where his skunk smell is what keeps him and his lover Fabrette apart, rather than any lack of desire.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for the latest in Pepe Le Pew movie news as it emerges!